Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Cancellation of public meetings

Expand Messages
  • Linda McKay
    Here s a copy of the email I sent to Planning Dept & Maxwell s office. If you want to send something in your own words, addresses are:
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 1, 2006
      Here's a copy of the email I sent to Planning Dept & Maxwell's office. If you want to send something in your own words, addresses are: david.alumbaugh@..., greg.asay@... (he's Sophie's aide), sophie.maxwell@... and dean.macris@... (head of Planning Dept).

      ______________

      David,

      Your Executive Park Plan presentation is a hot item! I offered to send people on my neighborhood email list a copy (didn't want to just broadcast a 7MB file) and I've gotten 7 requests for it. This actually helps make a point I’d like to talk to you about -

      People here are very confused about the cancellation of the Executive Park General Plan amendment planning meetings. I’ve cc’d Supervisor Maxwell because I’m hoping that between her office & the Planning Department, you can get this process back on track.

      People don't want you to go away and develop a plan. They want to participate in the planning process - especially (and finally!) - for development that might actually happen in our lifetime. You probably saw that in the amazing turnout at Saturday's meeting. Residents from many nearby neighborhoods (well over 100 people) gave up a beautiful Saturday morning because they care a lot about what gets built at Executive Park. Sure, we've got concerns, but we haven't really had a chance to express them yet.

      Your department has done a huge amount of work since Supervisor Maxwell asked you to put together a comprehensive plan for the remaining development at Executive Park. Your presentation contained many exciting recommendations for green building, streetscapes, pedestrian-friendly layouts, a renovated bayfront Harney Way . . . really good stuff – and almost exactly what some of us have on our planning “wish lists”. What people want to understand better - and weigh in on - is density and height.

      Why delay in getting our feedback? It seemed to us that we were on the verge of meaningful discussions about the project and we really don't understand what happened after the Saturday meeting to cause the sudden cancellation of upcoming meetings. We had momentum, we had the public interest, and we finally had a true cross-section of residents interested in planning issues – that seems like the perfect scenario for continued workshops. I also keep hearing that there is no “public will” in reference to your plan. We don’t understand that at all. Before the Saturday meeting, we had 3 neighborhood meetings all focused on this specific issue. The turnout at the Saturday meeting was also evidence of our interest. (Over 100 people showing up for 2 hours on a gorgeous Saturday morning to listen to planning issues?)

      Your email said the meetings are cancelled so you have time to address the technical issues raised in the public meetings. It isn’t clear what technical issues were raised, or why it is more important to answer these questions right now than to let us complete the feedback process so you understand ALL the issues we’re concerned about before you go further with the plan’s design.

      Appreciate your comments -

      Linda McKay
      Little Hollywood resident
      (415) 468-1262 (home)
      (415) 507-6777 (work)
      (415) 305-8565 (cell)
    • Ku-Tsang Lin
      Hi Linda, I agree that the Executive Park planning meeting was canceled abruptly and could have been carried out in a more professional manner, but I cannot
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 2, 2006
        Hi Linda,
         
        I agree that the Executive Park planning meeting was canceled abruptly and could have been carried out in a more professional manner, but I cannot agree that people were there on the Saturday morning because they were all interested in the development and wanted to see the planning proceed without delay.  Speaking for myself, I was very concerned and unhappy about how the Planning Department tried to rush the amendments through the Planning Commission last month.  I question their sincerity in obtaining public input and getting the affected neighborhoods involved.  Based on my observation, I don¡¦t think they can proceed without undue influence from the developers/landowners.  Since the first Executive Park meeting I attended, the Planning Department has not been able to address the traffic, parking, density, height, visual impact, public facility issues and provide concrete solutions.  Contrarily and repeatedly, they were presenting the same great plan of the developers/landowners. 
         
        My impression from the meeting was quite different from yours, and I saw many in the audience, if not the majority, who were unhappy with the proceedings.  Yes, there were over a hundred people who participated, but many of them were there for the first time and were not aware of the swift development before that meeting at all.  My impression was that many of us, if not the majority, do not want the plan to move on without better organization, public notices and participation. 
         
        To me, the cancellation was another proof of inability and insincerity of the Planning Department to manage the project with due care.  In addition to the failure of the Planning Department to address the technical environment issues, I also think the CAC formality and legitimacy need to be revisited and addressed so the neighborhoods can be better organized and represented.  Before the last meeting I did not even know the existence of the CAC, nor did the CAC try to inform the neighborhoods about the meetings or development.  Where are the checks and balances?  The historic connection between the CAC and the developers/landowners is also questionable, and I believe I am not the only one who smelled conflict of interest in the air.  No, I don¡¦t think we need to spend more beautiful Saturday mornings going to meetings that are not sincerely, attentively, or legitimately presented until the Planning Department reorganizes itself and is ready to represent itself proficiently. 
         
        Haste makes waste.  The development of the Executive Park has an impact on so many people and so many generations to come.  If this letter also speaks for many uninformed people in the neighborhoods I would rather be patient and careful than speedy and sorry.
         
        Regards,
         
        Ku-Tsang Lin

        Linda McKay <lmckay@...> wrote:
        Here's a copy of the email I sent to Planning Dept & Maxwell's office. If you want to send something in your own words, addresses are: david.alumbaugh@ sfgov.org, greg.asay@sfgov. org (he's Sophie's aide), sophie.maxwell@ sfgov.org and dean.macris@ sfgov.org (head of Planning Dept).

        ____________ __

        David,

        Your Executive Park Plan presentation is a hot item! I offered to send people on my neighborhood email list a copy (didn't want to just broadcast a 7MB file) and I've gotten 7 requests for it. This actually helps make a point I?™d like to talk to you about -

        People here are very confused about the cancellation of the Executive Park General Plan amendment planning meetings. I?™ve cc?™d Supervisor Maxwell because I?™m hoping that between her office & the Planning Department, you can get this process back on track.

        People don't want you to go away and develop a plan. They want to participate in the planning process - especially (and finally!) - for development that might actually happen in our lifetime. You probably saw that in the amazing turnout at Saturday's meeting. Residents from many nearby neighborhoods (well over 100 people) gave up a beautiful Saturday morning because they care a lot about what gets built at Executive Park. Sure, we've got concerns, but we haven't really had a chance to express them yet.

        Your department has done a huge amount of work since Supervisor Maxwell asked you to put together a comprehensive plan for the remaining development at Executive Park. Your presentation contained many exciting recommendations for green building, streetscapes, pedestrian-friendly layouts, a renovated bayfront Harney Way . . . really good stuff ??and almost exactly what some of us have on our planning ?œwish lists?? What people want to understand better - and weigh in on - is density and height.

        Why delay in getting our feedback? It seemed to us that we were on the verge of meaningful discussions about the project and we really don't understand what happened after the Saturday meeting to cause the sudden cancellation of upcoming meetings. We had momentum, we had the public interest, and we finally had a true cross-section of residents interested in planning issues ??that seems like the perfect scenario for continued workshops. I also keep hearing that there is no ?œpublic will??in reference to your plan. We don?™t understand that at all. Before the Saturday meeting, we had 3 neighborhood meetings all focused on this specific issue. The turnout at the Saturday meeting was also evidence of our interest. (Over 100 people showing up for 2 hours on a gorgeous Saturday morning to listen to planning issues?)

        Your email said the meetings are cancelled so you have time to address the technical issues raised in the public meetings. It isn?™t clear what technical issues were raised, or why it is more important to answer these questions right now than to let us complete the feedback process so you understand ALL the issues we?™re concerned about before you go further with the plan?™s design.

        Appreciate your comments -

        Linda McKay
        Little Hollywood resident
        (415) 468-1262 (home)
        (415) 507-6777 (work)
        (415) 305-8565 (cell)



        Do you Yahoo!?
        Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.

      • rmorine@aol.com
        below is a letter sent to the mover and shaker in Planning. If there is a reason for the delay, then we should be told. Russel
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 2, 2006

           below is a letter sent to the mover and shaker in Planning. If there is a reason for the delay, then we should be told.

           

          Russel

           _________________________________

          Planning Commissioners

           

          On Saturday July 15th , one of the hottest days this year, over one hundred residents of Visitacion Valley, Little Hollywood, Hester Heights, Candlestick Cove, Bayview Hill, and Greater Bayview Hunter’s Point willing gave up their time to participate in what was promised to be the first in a series of community workshops to discuss the proposed amendments to the South Bayshore Subarea Plan (Executive Park). These amendments would formalize the conversion of an outmoded office park to an “exciting new neighborhood”.

           

          We came to this meeting because we wanted the Planning staff and the developer/property owners to hear our concerns before these amendments are submitted for your approval. We came because we wanted to be part of the process.

           

          When asked if the community was willing to support a compressed timeline, the community agreed. We reached a consensus on a schedule of workshops and left with the understanding that the next few weeks would be busy but productive and inclusive.

           

          With little explanation, we were notified on July 28th that the series of workshops have been canceled/postponed. I find this very disheartening after seeing the unprecedented level of community support leading up to and at the July 15th workshop.

           

          Please request that your Planning staff explain and address the nature of these “technical issues” and clarify how the Department plans to get back on track.

           

          Please don’t let such positive community momentum go to waste.

           

          Russel Morine

          Little Hollywood/Visitacion Valley Resident

          531 Blanken Ave

           

           

           

        • Linda McKay
          Hi - Thanks for responding. Dialogue is good, whether we agree with each other or not. Re the meetings - I can see your point about the rush to take the final
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 2, 2006
            Hi -
             
            Thanks for responding. Dialogue is good, whether we agree with each other or not.
             
            Re the meetings - I can see your point about the rush to take the final plan forward to the Planning Commission. If we'd been able to have the promised meetings to discuss height, density, and traffic, I could make a more educated decision as to whether the plan should go forward so quickly. At this point, I can't really say how much more work needs to be done on the plan because I haven't seen the details. That's my real objection and my observation about the people who came on Saturday. They weren't necessarily supportive of the plan, but they were willing to participate in accelerated meetings to get more the information needed to make their own decisions. That's the momentum I hate to lose.
             
            Re the CAC: The representatives on the CAC are responsible for communicating back to their own groups. Fran Martin, John King and Tara Hui were the Vis Valley reps & Fran often used the monthly Planning Alliance meetings to give everyone updates. She also invited the Planning Department and developers to make presentations at the VVPA meetings so that everyone could see for themselves what was going on. The CAC has no special powers. We're just a collection of neighborhood representatives who try to make sure that the people we represent know what's going on at Executive Park and to try to represent our neighbors' interests. Russel & I keep Little Hollywood neighbors updated through email and recently, with neighborhood meetings. (I've included you in our Little Hollywood updates because you came to one of our meetings. Normally I leave Vis Valley updates to those representatives.) There is much more to say about the CAC and you may have questions I haven't addressed. If so, feel free to call me (468-1262).
             
            If it appears that CAC members are "pro development", keep in mind that some of these people have been members for over 30 years and have seen plan after plan go absolutely nowhere. They really do want to see quality development at Executive Park in their lifetime and they are eager to keep the process moving forward.
             
             
            Regards,
            Linda
             
          • rmorine@aol.com
            Linda is much more diplomatic then I, so I ll keep this brief. From what I ve heard from everyone I ve talked to, Planning blundered when they tired to move
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 2, 2006
              Linda is much more diplomatic then I, so I'll keep this brief.

              From what I've heard from everyone I've talked to, Planning blundered when they tired to move the amendments forward in a rushed manner. I agree. But the "checks" worked and the community forced the workshops. So we got what we wanted, more time and a format to tell them what we think about their plan (and I'm not so sure its solely the developers driving this concept).

              Regarding the CAC, I see it as a conduit of information to the community and back to the developers. That's all. We don't make decisions for the larger community. This can be done better and we are going to find a way to get more representatives at the table.

              Getting everyone up to speed it a monumental task, but to be fair, residential development at Ex Park has been discussed for over 2 years. Linda and I are doing our best to keep Little Hollywood informed. That's why we organized two meetings with the developers, one to hear their presentation and another that they were invite to make a short introduction and then asked to leave the room so the community could discuss our issues openly. I should also add that Bob Lehman puts out his email List of meetings every week and I try to send important updates to the Grapevine. This too can be done better. Any suggestions?

              Like Linda, I can say a whole lot more on the subject...But I'll be nice :)

              Russel

            • tara hui
              Just to clarify couple of facts in Linda s response: 1. Tara Hui (me) has officially resigned from CAC over a month ago 2. In my tenure, if you can call it
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 3, 2006
                Just to clarify couple of facts in Linda's response:

                1. Tara Hui (me) has officially resigned from CAC over a month ago
                2. In my tenure, if you can call it that, I have attended 5 or 6 meetings
                and only 2 as an official CAC member - one in which I was voted in and the
                other in which I resigned

                I am going to stick my neck out and say this - In my short involvement with
                the CAC what I observed seem disturbing to me; the often low turnout and the
                lack of involvement, plus the one sidedness of the meetings - it's more of a
                forum for developer's presentation of their desires and points of view. It
                was not clear to me how the CAC really serves the communities they
                represent; given that developers do presentations in other public forums to
                the communities at large anyway, albeit less candid.

                Two reasons for my resignation � one obviously is the conflict of interest
                created by my employment with Top Vision, the other is the fact that I see
                no clear purpose for my involvement in the CAC which I can agree with in
                principal.

                My apologies if this should upset some of you because, everything aside, you
                are good friends of mine.


                >From: "Linda McKay" <lmckay@...>
                >Reply-To: Valley_Eye@yahoogroups.com
                >To: <Valley_Eye@yahoogroups.com>
                >Subject: RE: [Valley_Eye] Cancellation of public meetings
                >Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 20:00:05 -0700
                >
                >Hi -
                >
                >Thanks for responding. Dialogue is good, whether we agree with each other
                >or
                >not.
                >
                >Re the meetings - I can see your point about the rush to take the final
                >plan
                >forward to the Planning Commission. If we'd been able to have the promised
                >meetings to discuss height, density, and traffic, I could make a more
                >educated decision as to whether the plan should go forward so quickly. At
                >this point, I can't really say how much more work needs to be done on the
                >plan because I haven't seen the details. That's my real objection and my
                >observation about the people who came on Saturday. They weren't necessarily
                >supportive of the plan, but they were willing to participate in accelerated
                >meetings to get more the information needed to make their own decisions.
                >That's the momentum I hate to lose.
                >
                >Re the CAC: The representatives on the CAC are responsible for
                >communicating
                >back to their own groups. Fran Martin, John King and Tara Hui were the Vis
                >Valley reps & Fran often used the monthly Planning Alliance meetings to
                >give
                >everyone updates. She also invited the Planning Department and developers
                >to
                >make presentations at the VVPA meetings so that everyone could see for
                >themselves what was going on. The CAC has no special powers. We're just a
                >collection of neighborhood representatives who try to make sure that the
                >people we represent know what's going on at Executive Park and to try to
                >represent our neighbors' interests. Russel & I keep Little Hollywood
                >neighbors updated through email and recently, with neighborhood meetings.
                >(I've included you in our Little Hollywood updates because you came to one
                >of our meetings. Normally I leave Vis Valley updates to those
                >representatives.) There is much more to say about the CAC and you may have
                >questions I haven't addressed. If so, feel free to call me (468-1262).
                >
                >If it appears that CAC members are "pro development", keep in mind that
                >some
                >of these people have been members for over 30 years and have seen plan
                >after
                >plan go absolutely nowhere. They really do want to see quality development
                >at Executive Park in their lifetime and they are eager to keep the process
                >moving forward.
                >
                >
                >Regards,
                >Linda
                >
              • Linda McKay
                No upset here. Russel and I want to fix the CAC to make it more relevant to both neighboring communities and the planning department. The only that will work
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 3, 2006
                  No upset here. Russel and I want to fix the CAC to make it more relevant to both neighboring communities and the planning department. The only that will work is to have more active members from more communities. Bayview Hill isn't even represented and they are closer to the developement than any other group except Little Hollywood.

                  We think it's important to have active, independent people so we can become a more active & independent CAC. Wish us luck.

                  Linda

                  -----Original Message-----
                  >From: tara hui <tarahui@...>
                  >Sent: Aug 3, 2006 9:50 AM
                  >To: Valley_Eye@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: RE: [Valley_Eye] Cancellation of public meetings
                  >
                  >Just to clarify couple of facts in Linda's response:
                  >
                  >1. Tara Hui (me) has officially resigned from CAC over a month ago
                  >2. In my tenure, if you can call it that, I have attended 5 or 6 meetings
                  >and only 2 as an official CAC member - one in which I was voted in and the
                  >other in which I resigned
                  >
                  >I am going to stick my neck out and say this - In my short involvement with
                  >the CAC what I observed seem disturbing to me; the often low turnout and the
                  >lack of involvement, plus the one sidedness of the meetings - it's more of a
                  >forum for developer's presentation of their desires and points of view. It
                  >was not clear to me how the CAC really serves the communities they
                  >represent; given that developers do presentations in other public forums to
                  >the communities at large anyway, albeit less candid.
                  >
                  >Two reasons for my resignation – one obviously is the conflict of interest
                  >created by my employment with Top Vision, the other is the fact that I see
                  >no clear purpose for my involvement in the CAC which I can agree with in
                  >principal.
                  >
                  >My apologies if this should upset some of you because, everything aside, you
                  >are good friends of mine.
                  >
                  >
                  >>From: "Linda McKay" <lmckay@...>
                  >>Reply-To: Valley_Eye@yahoogroups.com
                  >>To: <Valley_Eye@yahoogroups.com>
                  >>Subject: RE: [Valley_Eye] Cancellation of public meetings
                  >>Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 20:00:05 -0700
                  >>
                  >>Hi -
                  >>
                  >>Thanks for responding. Dialogue is good, whether we agree with each other
                  >>or
                  >>not.
                  >>
                  >>Re the meetings - I can see your point about the rush to take the final
                  >>plan
                  >>forward to the Planning Commission. If we'd been able to have the promised
                  >>meetings to discuss height, density, and traffic, I could make a more
                  >>educated decision as to whether the plan should go forward so quickly. At
                  >>this point, I can't really say how much more work needs to be done on the
                  >>plan because I haven't seen the details. That's my real objection and my
                  >>observation about the people who came on Saturday. They weren't necessarily
                  >>supportive of the plan, but they were willing to participate in accelerated
                  >>meetings to get more the information needed to make their own decisions.
                  >>That's the momentum I hate to lose.
                  >>
                  >>Re the CAC: The representatives on the CAC are responsible for
                  >>communicating
                  >>back to their own groups. Fran Martin, John King and Tara Hui were the Vis
                  >>Valley reps & Fran often used the monthly Planning Alliance meetings to
                  >>give
                  >>everyone updates. She also invited the Planning Department and developers
                  >>to
                  >>make presentations at the VVPA meetings so that everyone could see for
                  >>themselves what was going on. The CAC has no special powers. We're just a
                  >>collection of neighborhood representatives who try to make sure that the
                  >>people we represent know what's going on at Executive Park and to try to
                  >>represent our neighbors' interests. Russel & I keep Little Hollywood
                  >>neighbors updated through email and recently, with neighborhood meetings.
                  >>(I've included you in our Little Hollywood updates because you came to one
                  >>of our meetings. Normally I leave Vis Valley updates to those
                  >>representatives.) There is much more to say about the CAC and you may have
                  >>questions I haven't addressed. If so, feel free to call me (468-1262).
                  >>
                  >>If it appears that CAC members are "pro development", keep in mind that
                  >>some
                  >>of these people have been members for over 30 years and have seen plan
                  >>after
                  >>plan go absolutely nowhere. They really do want to see quality development
                  >>at Executive Park in their lifetime and they are eager to keep the process
                  >>moving forward.
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>Regards,
                  >>Linda
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Ku-Tsang Lin
                  Thank you Linda and Russel for your responses. Your viewpoints are well taken and I hope my prior e-mail did not upset you because both of you are on the CAC
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 3, 2006
                    Thank you Linda and Russel for your responses.  Your viewpoints are well taken and I hope my prior e-mail did not upset you because both of you are on the CAC board.  Thank you also for being diplomatic but as Tara pointed out and Linda recognized, there are areas that can be done better for CAC.  From my observation, I think more outreach to the affected neighborhoods, and recruiting more active board members to cover more diverse basis are definitely needed.  Another point is that you might want to consider posting CAC’s meeting minutes and resolutions, letters to the Supervisor or government agencies on Bob Lehman’s e-mail notices (or other public bulletin board) on a regular basis to keep the residents informed.  
                     
                    As for Linda’s comments about the slow development of the surrounding neighborhood and the desire of some senior CAC members, I believe there are more histories behind what is taking place in front of us because the eagerness of the CAC members to move things forward is beyond obvious to me.  No offense to the senior members, but let’s not forget CAC's role is to represent the community, not the desires of individual board members to see things happen in their life time. 
                     
                    I understand CAC does not have special powers, but a well organized CAC speaks for the community, and its representation carries more weigh to the public authorities than random individuals.  I don’t think we need to downplay the significance of CAC.
                     
                    The big turnout at last meeting indicated people’s intention to find out the drastic amendment of the Executive Park development plan.  Everybody at the meeting was concerned because their interest was at stake, and they wanted to be heard. In my opinion, the momentum will not drop if CAC can better inform and educate the residents and keep them posted without fail.  I also believe the momentum will not change because the development affects everyone’s homes, houses, and their most important investments in life.  I, for one, will not loss my momentum in protecting my property interest and lifetime investment.
                     
                    Another reminder, the need to re-evaluate the environmental study was somewhat forecasted in one of the Executive Park planning meetings when several participants questioned the status of the study at that time.  I actually applaud the re-evaluation because many of us believe a prudent, more current analysis is crucial.  Without the authorization of the environmental study, any discussion and consensus reached in contrary will be repudiated.  In my opinion, we should question the Planning Department why the procedures were not followed appropriately form the beginning, why they rushed into all the meetings before the study is officially adopted, but not when they would have another meeting any time soon.
                     
                    I do want to know more about the CAC and would like to study its bylaws and all of its records if CAC is open to that.  David and I plan to go to the August 8 meeting at the VV Community Center.  It will be appreciated if you can give me a copy of the bylaws to start with and advise me more on other issues.  Thanks again.
                     
                    Regards,
                     
                    Ku-Tsang


                    rmorine@... wrote:
                    Linda is much more diplomatic then I, so I'll keep this brief.

                    From what I've heard from everyone I've talked to, Planning blundered when they tired to move the amendments forward in a rushed manner. I agree. But the "checks" worked and the community forced the workshops. So we got what we wanted, more time and a format to tell them what we think about their plan (and I'm not so sure its solely the developers driving this concept).

                    Regarding the CAC, I see it as a conduit of information to the community and back to the developers. That's all. We don't make decisions for the larger community. This can be done better and we are going to find a way to get more representatives at the table.

                    Getting everyone up to speed it a monumental task, but to be fair, residential development at Ex Park has been discussed for over 2 years. Linda and I are doing our best to keep Little Hollywood informed. That's why we organized two meetings with the developers, one to hear their presentation and another that they were invite to make a short introduction and then asked to leave the room so the community could discuss our issues openly. I should also add that Bob Lehman puts out his email List of meetings every week and I try to send important updates to the Grapevine. This too can be done better. Any suggestions?

                    Like Linda, I can say a whole lot more on the subject...But I'll be nice :)

                    Russel



                    Do you Yahoo!?
                    Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.

                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.